Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pirate Literary Agent (Also, a Parrot)

When I walked into the room, I expected to pitch my book, but I was put on the defensive immediately: "Come in, come in, sit down . . . My God, I can tell just by looking at you that you'll never make it in this business. Why don't you take up painting or knitting and save yourself a lot of grief and save me the trouble of having to break it to you that you'll never amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world? You couldn't at least dress like a professional instead of wearing that ridiculous Evil Editor shirt? Is that supposed to impress me? And now I suppose you want to pitch your truly unique novel. No! Don't tell me, let me guess, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wins girl back. But with a twist. Did I get it? Wait, I know, it's about vampires! That's original. Vampires on the Titanic! They drain the captain's blood so he can't steer around the iceberg, and then while everyone's drowning, the vampires turn into bats and fly to Maine. Nice try, but vampires on the Titanic is the third most submitted plot, right behind soul mates meeting but thanks to a series of incredible misunderstandings hating each other's guts for 350 pages at which point they laugh it all off and live happily ever after, and going back in time to kill Hitler. Anyway, time's up, thanks for stopping by, and send in whoever's next."

"Listen," I said, "I came here to pitch my novel to an agent. Now would you shut your damn parrot up so I can get a word in edgewise?"

"Arrr, matey."

"And while you're at it you can tell feather-face he's way off; it's vampires on the Andrea Doria."

--Evil Editor




Once upon a noontime dreary,
While I wandered lost and weary
Searching for that agent most respected,
I came upon my doom when I came upon the room
Where my appointment was expected;
Where I hoped my work would be selected,
Sweet novel now perfected.

With no further hesitation,
I went in with aspiration
Eager to confirm what I suspected.
When with a flirt and flutter, the agent moved to utter,
"Sit yer arse down and let's be 'earin' yer suggested."
Though her dress and mien were unexpected
I quickly did as she directed.

I marvelled at her breeches velvet,
Leather sash and satin jacket --
A pirate captain? So her clothes suggested.
But what struck my fancy fair was the bird upon her chair,
A parrot poised, and by my presence unaffected.
"Well, hello there!" I ejected.
Quoth the parrot, "You're rejected."

Still I'd come to make a deal,
So I plunged into my spiel,
Determined that my talent be detected.
"Aargghh," the agent scritched, when I finished up my pitch.
"That there book should be quartered and dissected."
"But if you'd just read it," I quickly interjected.
Quoth the parrot, "You're rejected."

"Time's up!" The agent swore, pointing cutlass at the door.
I felt trod down, unworthy and dejected,
She'd rammed my life's boat and left my dreams afloat,
So from that wretched room I fast defected.
And in my soul it echoes still, the judgment thus inflected:
That cruel refrain, that oft-heard strain, "Author, you're rejected."

--Phoenix

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